Oregon is an excellent state for rockhounding. There are several opportunities to search for the Oregonís state gemstone, the Oregon Sunstone. There are also places to search for thunder eggs, fossils, and gold.
Double Eagle Mine
The Double Eagle Mine is located in the high desert of southcentral Oregon, just northwest of the town of Plush, Oregon. The mine is among a small group of fulltime mining companies located near Plush.
Visitors have the opportunity to search for rare Oregon sunstones. Those that cannot dry-camp at the site can be accommodated by nearby motels and RV resorts at low and affordable rates. Visitors can also buy these rare gemstones directly from the miners.
Dust Devil Mining Company
The Dust Devil Mining Company is located in the heart of Oregon sunstone deposits near Plush, Oregon. Visitors to the mine have a rare opportunity to prospect on virgin ground freshly opened by heavy equipment. You are not limited to digging tailings.
The mine is not only accessible from many routes but also family-friendly. The digging fee is very affordable while visitors can stay in nearby motels at fair prices. Tent-camping is also available.
Lucky Strike Mine
The Lucky Strike Mine has been operational for over fifty years. It is located a mile high in the Ochoco Mountains about 35 miles northeast of Prineville, Oregon. Free camping, water and an outhouse are always at your disposal. Thunder eggs can be found here in many different colors and patterns.
You can dig up the thunder eggs from known deposits or simply pick them from the surface at a very affordable rate.
Richardsonís Rock Ranch
The Richardsonís Rock Ranch is located approximately 11 miles North of Madras, Oregon. The ranch is famous for their agate beds which feature thunder eggs and ledge agate material. It has been operational for over 4 decades now.
Tools for digging are always available at the shop at an affordable rate. The mine no longer offers overnight camping so plan accordingly, and contact them for the latest mining information.
Spectrum Sunshine Mines
One of Oregonís premier gemstone mining sites is the Spectrum Sunshine Mine, which is open for gemstone enthusiastsí mining expeditions. You can visit the site and search through fresh and unprocessed material for the whole day. Additionally, they have high grade conveyer belts to ease your process of picking out gemstones from the material of high grade condensed piles of ore, ensuring that you have a chance to find the best gems on this mine.
For a chance to find the Oregonís famed sunstones, Spectrum Sunshine Mines is definitely worth checking out.
Also Read: Rare Gems & Minerals in Oregon
And: Gold Panning & Prospecting near Portland
BLM Collection Sites
Oregonís Bureau of Land Management allows viewers to visit and collect gemstones within a designated area near Plush. With known sunstone occurrences here, this is an ideal location for rockhounding and other recreational activities.
There are many BLM and Forest Service lands across this vast state where you can search for a variety of minerals for no charge.
Some of the most popular rocks collected in Oregon include thunder eggs, agates, fossils, jasper, petrified wood and obsidian among others. A little research will help you find lots of great areas to search for gems and minerals.
Public Gold Mining Areas
Gold is mined throughout Oregon in the Cascade Mountains, down into southern Oregon toward the California border, as well as in Eastern Oregon's Blue Mountains.
Our eBook Start Finding Gold in Oregon
discusses these areas in great detail.